Author Topic: Maple/wood counters?  (Read 1542 times)

thesvenster

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Maple/wood counters?
« on: August 02, 2017, 11:03:08 AM »
So originally my wife and I were going to do cement counter tops in the remodel, but the more I explore it it seems like a lot more trouble than it's worth. But I love the idea of maple countertops.

Home Depot even sells premade sections. I've also considered doing it my self by purchasing some maple.

Any thoughts, tips or experience to share with maple/wood countertops?

Cranky

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 12:40:26 PM »
One section of my countertop is butcher block, which I suppose is maple. We did not have much luck ordering it through our local Lowe's, who seemed confused by the whole thing, so I went to a local specialty hardwood mill.

I like it very much, but I wanted it specifically to chop on, not to be decorative.

Drifterrider

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 07:19:40 AM »
I have American Cherry butcher block counter tops from Lumber Liquidators.  I wanted something darker so I stained and applied poly.  If they get damaged, sand and restain.

Uturn

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 07:54:11 AM »
When I built my workbench around 6 years ago, I bought two 1 1/2" maple counter tops from Lumber Liquidators and laminated them together to form a 3" top.  I do mostly hand tool woodworking, so I needed something heavy that would not flex.  I don't abuse the workbench, but I'm not careful with it either.  It has held up surprisingly well.  Even the part of the bench where I have chopped many hundreds of mortises looks just as good as the rest of the bench. 

Before you decide to use wood for a counter top, you need to think about the finish.  Without finish, the wood will absorb any liquid spilled on it.  You basically have two choices, oil or film finish.  Oils would be mineral oil or boiled linseed oil.  Mineral oil is often sold as salad bowl or butcher block oil, but is more expensive when labeled as such.  Some people say you can use vegetable or olive oil, but there is some controversy with those going rancid.  Film finishes are usually shellac or polyurethane.  Both are food safe when fully cured.  Shellac is often used to make candy shiny and prevent the dye from getting on your fingers. 

Film finishes will show scratches, especially in the higher gloss sheens.   Oils won't show scratches much, unless they are deep.  Film finishes don't require ongoing maintenance, unless it gets damaged.  Oil will dry out, absorb deeper, wear off, and needs to be reapplied.  Film finishes offer much more protection against spills.
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Frugal Lizard

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:36:03 AM »
Hubs made an ash countertop for our island.  I was going to cut on it but I like the smooth clean look.
I have oiled it a couple of times and it needs it again.  Some black cherry juice stained it. 
To keep it from coming apart, all the pieces are held tight together on a rod.  The bolts are hidden within the outer pieces.  It can be tightened on either side.
It took a couple of days to make - mostly limited by the number of clamps in the shop. 
I am not sure I would want it near the sink.  I am a pretty messy cook - (I do a lot of canning and entertaining) so a lot of water gets sloshed around.  I don't like the black water marks that could get into the grain with the way I use the kitchen.
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J Boogie

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 11:41:43 AM »
You basically have two choices, oil or film finish.  Oils would be mineral oil or boiled linseed oil.  Mineral oil is often sold as salad bowl or butcher block oil, but is more expensive when labeled as such.  Some people say you can use vegetable or olive oil, but there is some controversy with those going rancid.  Film finishes are usually shellac or polyurethane.  Both are food safe when fully cured.  Shellac is often used to make candy shiny and prevent the dye from getting on your fingers. 

Film finishes will show scratches, especially in the higher gloss sheens.   Oils won't show scratches much, unless they are deep.  Film finishes don't require ongoing maintenance, unless it gets damaged.  Oil will dry out, absorb deeper, wear off, and needs to be reapplied.  Film finishes offer much more protection against spills.


There are also hardwax oils like rubio or osmo.  They won't flake/chip like a film finish, and they offer more protection than a penetrating oil.  Maintenance is much easier than refinishing a film finish as well.

Worth researching, not sure I'd say they're the perfect option, but they might be the best depending on your preferences.

lthenderson

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 10:23:09 AM »
Any thoughts, tips or experience to share with maple/wood countertops?

If you are looking for something that doesn't require much work, maple countertops aren't the way to go. I have a section in my kitchen that I use as a butcher block to chop veggies on. It requires monthly applications of mineral oil/beeswax to prevent staining, absorption and sticking of foods. Because I often don't get that done, you end up scraping to get all the food particles off before re applying the finish and the scraping takes off a bit of the wood every time.

I wouldn't give up my butcher block but I certainly wouldn't want to do an entire kitchen in it. I think it would be a nightmare to keep looking nice.

fixie

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 05:58:35 PM »
Wood countertops are great but as other posters have said, they require some care and regular maintenance, depending on the finish.  Maple is a great wood as it is very hard, resilient, and easy to refinish or add oil or whatever.
You might like this product:
http://www.paperstoneproducts.com/

It looks great, is very DIY friendly, and easy to care for and comes in a ton of colors.  Probably a bit cheaper than maple as well...
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Mrs. PoP

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 07:40:20 PM »
You basically have two choices, oil or film finish.  Oils would be mineral oil or boiled linseed oil.  Mineral oil is often sold as salad bowl or butcher block oil, but is more expensive when labeled as such.  Some people say you can use vegetable or olive oil, but there is some controversy with those going rancid.  Film finishes are usually shellac or polyurethane.  Both are food safe when fully cured.  Shellac is often used to make candy shiny and prevent the dye from getting on your fingers. 

Film finishes will show scratches, especially in the higher gloss sheens.   Oils won't show scratches much, unless they are deep.  Film finishes don't require ongoing maintenance, unless it gets damaged.  Oil will dry out, absorb deeper, wear off, and needs to be reapplied.  Film finishes offer much more protection against spills.

We used osmo on our cherry countertop and have been pleased with how it holds up through use. 

There are also hardwax oils like rubio or osmo.  They won't flake/chip like a film finish, and they offer more protection than a penetrating oil.  Maintenance is much easier than refinishing a film finish as well.

Worth researching, not sure I'd say they're the perfect option, but they might be the best depending on your preferences.
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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 08:58:25 PM »
Google craft art counter tops. They have some great deals on diy countertops.

letired

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Re: Maple/wood counters?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 03:00:46 PM »
I love butcher block counters, as long as you keep the wood away from the sink/wet areas! They are also not for germaphobes or people who like pristine things.

I constantly miss my parents butcher block island. After about 20 years, you could see some wear in the areas most used for chopping, and a hot pan left a dark mark once. We did not do significant or regular maintenance on it. Every once in a while when my mom had some free time, it would get wiped down with lemon juice and oiled with olive oil. Never seemed to have a rancidity problem, but I would probably go with mineral oil just to be safe.